Eve of Destruction
After the cure for the Legacy Virus is released, Magneto finds himself in control of a massive army of healthy mutates and mutants ready for a final war against human kind. Now the world anxiously watches Genosha as Magneto begins to mobilize his army, which waits any day now for his declaration of war. However, what is a victory to Magneto if the one man who has opposed him is not there to see his precious dream reduced to rubble? To that end, Magneto has kidnapped and immobilized Professor Charles Xavier, leaving him as a rally symbol for his army. Unfortunately, with many of the X-Men gone, Phoenix must gather an all-new all-different group of mutants, by any means necessary. Internal problems exist as well, though, as Wolverine journeys undercover in Genosha with a man he may not be able to trust anymore: Cyclops. Can a group of inexperienced and dysfunctional mutants be able to stop the master of magnetism? Will the return of an old friend and the decision of a former lover bring much needed aid or will it cost the X-Men dearly? More importantly, will the X-Men be able to stop the arrival of the day of destruction or is the inevitable at their doorstep?
- Cyclops, Phoenix IV, Professor Charles Xavier, Wolverine (all X-Men)
- Dazzler, Polaris (former X-Men)
- Joanna Cargill, Northstar, Paulie Provenzano, Sunpyre, Wraith (all interim X-Men)
- Amelia Voght
- Blob, Random
- many Genoshan soldiers
- various member of Homo Sapiens Liberation Army
- Trish Tilby
Uncanny X-Men #392-393, X-Men (2nd series) #111-113
- A cure to the Legacy Virus was found in Uncanny X-Men #390, though it would kill the first person injected with it. Acting as a vessel for the airborne cure, Colossus sacrificed his life, overnight curing the thousands of dying in Genosha and leaving Magneto with an army.
- Shortly before Colossus’ death, Storm had gathered a group of X-Men to secretly leave the mansion and search out the diaries of the pre-cog, Destiny, in X-Men (2nd series) #109. With several other X-Men too leaving due to personal issues, this left Xavier with only three remaining X-Men.
- During the Apocalypse: The Twelve crossover, Cyclops was merged with Apocalypse but was later freed, thanks to his wife and son in X-men: Search for Cyclops #4. However, the time spent merged with the madman seems to have changed Cyclops’ personality somewhat, though to what extent is unknown to his teammates.
- Polaris joined Magneto on Genosha in Uncanny X-Men #379 but, later on, turned against him to help the people hurt under Magneto’s rule.
Live from Genosha, Trish Tilby reports on the situation developing there. After the recent cure to the Legacy Virus was released, curing thousands of dying on Genosha, Magneto has mobilized his massive army at the heart of the island; Magda Square. While S.H.I.E.L.D. and the Avengers discuss their strategies, Joanna Cargill addresses the United Nations as Genosha’s ambassador and demands that the sovereign nations of the world surrender to Magneto, if they wish to have any autonomy after he ascends to ruler of the world. Trish interviews Magneto, who tells the world that he is tired of the hypocrisy of humanity and claims that, the only way for the world to survive, is for humanity to be removed. He may not have started the war but he will end it. Magneto leaves to procure a rallying symbol for his troops, which ends up being his old friend and foe, Professor Charles Xavier. Magneto kidnaps Xavier from his mansion and, the next morning, binds the man to a cross in the middle of Magda Square.
With only three active X-Men left, the team splits up. Wolverine and Cyclops secretly enter Genosha through the underground sewers to help human refugees escape until Phoenix arrives with the cavalry. With most of the team missing, Phoenix sets out to assemble an all-new team of X-Men. First, she frees Cargill from her captives at the Pentagon, who brought her in after her speech. She refuses to help, which forces Phoenix to mind-control the woman. Next, Phoenix tracks down Northstar, who at first is reluctant to join. After that, Phoenix locates two new mutants, Wraith and Paulie Provenzano, who possess the powers of invisibility and indestructibility. At the mansion, Phoenix meets Sunpyre, the sister of Sunfire, who responds to Jean’s call to the disinterested Sunfire. Phoenix debriefs her team and surprises Northstar when she reveals that they are leaving immediately with no training. As they are about to leave, however, former X-Man Dazzler arrives in bad shape at the mansion.
In Genosha, Amelia Voght watches Magneto give a speech to his army. Amelia doesn’t want war and realizes she must make a choice. After the speech, Magneto blames Xavier for the war that is about to happen, for Xavier could have used his telepathy to change the minds of the humans. Magneto leaves to prepare for the war tomorrow, unaware that Amelia Voght was spying on him the whole time.
In the sewers, Cyclops and Wolverine aid Polaris in helping human refugees to Wakanda. The two men clear a path through the sewers to the rendezvous point, encountering the Blob and Random along the way. Wolverine, however, is concerned that Cyclops may not be trustworthy after his separation from Apocalypse. Cyclops dismisses Wolverine’s worries and the two men finish clearing the tunnels after an encounter with the Homo Sapiens Liberation Army.
Using the Blackbird, Phoenix’s team heads to Genosha. During the flight, Phoenix brings the team into a psychic Danger Room training session into Dazzler’s mind, where they learn that the Mojoverse has been destroyed and her husband Longshot may be dead. Before Dazzler can be further questioned about it, Magneto rips apart the Blackbird and brings the X-Men to Magda Square. Dazzler sees Xavier on the cross and, in anger lashes out against Magneto, who turns the woman’s powers against her and kills her.
Phoenix’s team fights against Magneto, but they are all taken down one by one until only Phoenix and Wraith are left standing. Wraith uses his powers to turn Magneto’s skin temporarily invisible. Magneto is disoriented, giving Cyclops and Wolverine time to arrive on the scene. Cyclops attacks Magneto, but is eventually defeated by the man. Wolverine is about to finish the job, but Magneto uses his powers to stop him and is about to rip out his adamantium once again when he discovers that something is preventing him. Magneto then discovers parts of the battle were faked, telepathic scenarios played out by Jean. After Dazzler’s “death,” she created a holographic image of Xavier around herself, taking his place on the cross, while the real Xavier was freed by Amelia Voght – the rest of the team providing the necessary distraction. The professor uses his telepathy to stop Magneto’s attack. Wolverine decides that its time to stop Magneto’s madness for good and stabs him in the stomach, critically wounding him.
Xavier gives a speech to the people of Genosha, telling them that they are now free and must choose whether they truly want a war, which would kill them all, or if they would rather live in peace. The team returns home, where all of the interim X-Men decline invitations to join the team on a permanent basis.
- Though loyal to the team, Cyclops’ behavior continued to grow worse and had a bad affect on his marriage to Phoenix.
- The status of the Mojoverse and Longshot has still to be cleared up. While he did appear in Exiles #18-19, several things in that story suggest that it might be set a point before the destruction of the place. Dazzler returned to singing, as was seen in Deadpool (3rd series) #67.
- In Uncanny X-Men #414, Xavier could convince Northstar to become a full X-Man.
- In New X-Men #115, Cassandra Nova destroyed Genosha with her Mega-Sentinels. The public at large believes the incident to be a response to Magneto’s aggression in this story arc. Due to the degree of the damage inflicted, as well as damage received from Wolverine’s attack, the world declared Magneto dead, though this was later disproved in New X-Men #146.